First peregrine egg at Gulf Tower, 3 at Pitt

We had lots of action at the Pittsburgh peregrine nests overnight.

Tasha2 at the Gulf Tower laid her first egg of 2010.  Click on her photo above to see a nighttime image of her with the egg, captured by Marianne Atkinson before 5:00am.  As Marianne watched, Tasha carefully moved the egg to the right and into the scrape.  In the nighttime image, the egg is the white circle and Tasha is bending her head down with her tail in the air.

Meanwhile at the Cathedral of Learning, Dorothy laid her third egg as shown below.  

The eggs are white in nighttime pictures because they’re made visible using infrared light.  In daylight the eggs are a deep red-brown color.  Yes, that’s the egg between Tasha’s feet.  

So why do Dorothy’s eggs look pink on the streaming cam at Pitt?  Because the infrared light is very close and the camera can see infrared, even during the day. 

Don’t miss the action!

  • Watch the Gulf Tower streaming camera here,
  • The Cathedral of Learning streaming camera here, and
  • The snapshot cam at the Cathedral of Learning here.

Now that Dorothy has laid her third egg she will likely begin incubation.  See the Peregrine FAQs for more information.

(photos from the National Aviary webcams)

10 thoughts on “First peregrine egg at Gulf Tower, 3 at Pitt

  1. I’ve been watching Dorothy this year and am hoping to see more of them in person since I’m a grad student at Pitt. Last Friday afternoon I think I caught my first glimpse of E2 flying around the top of the building. from my window I can only see about half the north (fifth ave) side and the west face. I watched the webcam and listened to Dorothy from her perch and peered out my window trying to see them.

    I have googled and googled and even read about them being visted once by another bird that may have been one of their kids because they flew around the cathedral and behaved as if it was familiar…i think that was even here on your blog. The thing I haven’t found…what side is their nest on? I’m hoping to actually watch for them a little more this year, but it’s pretty hard trying to keep your eyes on all parts of that building! Can you share this with us? Or is is a secret to help protect them and that’s why I’ve had such a hard time? Thanks!

  2. Peter, you can’t see their nest from inside the building – it’s hidden – but it’s easy to see Dorothy & E2 from outside the building. I saw E2 perched on the nestrail today while I was on Carnegie Library’s steps. Here’s where to look:
    And finally, the only reason it’s safe to say where to look is because they are very well known birds and well protected by Pitt.

  3. I hate to be parochial, but Gulf Tower 1, Pitt 3? GO PITT! OK, March Madness got hold of me! We’ll be looking for them on our way to the Women’s NCAA 1st and 2nd Round at Peterson this weekend. We won’t see the Pitt Women unfortunately. Can I start a cheer–Go Dorothy!? Anne

  4. Now how’d I miss that post! Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately that’s the opposite side of the cathedral from what I can see from up by Soldiers and Sailors. A little warmer though and an afternoon on the plaza sounds like a grand plan.

    I appreciated the comment about seeing them sit on the antenna atop the cathedral too. I would have sworn I saw one land there, but without being sure I was actually seeing the peregrines I wasn’t certain. Thanks for keeping up this blog.

  5. I have a question, Kate –
    I have the Gulf Tower webcam up as I work, it’s around 11:40pm, and one of the falcons has been calling over and over since 10pm. Tasha was on her eggs, then got off, and this calling has been happening ever since. It’s not a desperate call – nor does it sound like a warning. It’s simply a repititous pattern of a series of calls, over and over.

    Do you have any idea what it’s all about? Did it also happen at the Cathedral before all the eggs were laid there? Dorothy has been incubating and it’s basically been silent over there all evening. Is this something the females do, until all their eggs are laid?

    I did hear this pattern a few nights ago at the Gulf, but I didn’t have the webcam up for this length of time.

    Since we didn’t have sound last year – it adds a layer of mystery.

  6. Vocalization is part of courtship. The female solicits mating by giving the Whining Call — in essence she calls him to “Come over here!”

    I am sure that the amount of noise we hear varies a lot and depends on how far away the mate is, how soon he arrives, and in this situation how close the birds are to the listener (microphone). Calling probably varies from individual to individual and may change as the pair becomes more accustomed to each other (number of years they’ve been together). It might even vary as the same individual ages.

    I am not sure if this amount of vocalization is normal for Tasha. I will ask those who have been able to hear her from inside the Gulf Tower for the last several years.

    p.s. Though we can see the nest because of the infrared light, it is dark for Tasha. She can’t see if Louie is nearby so she must call. Sometimes it’s just a contact call (“Are you there? and he replies, “Yes.”) Or, if she just laid an egg she may be calling Louie to come see it. (Ever since I’ve been watching peregrines on webcams I’ve noticed that the male comes to see the new egg shortly after it’s been laid.)

  7. Ahh, Well it wasn’t the egg. That was laid sometime during the day Friday, as I saw it in the afternoon and I saw them both in the nest box off and on throughout the day. They had the camera zoomed in a couple of times too, which has been awesome.

    Each falcon certainly has it’s own unique personality!! It’s been great to see Tasha in such detail.

    Thanks for the answer.

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